To All Book Reviewers – A Thank You

Rebecca Vance:

Such a heartfelt post, thank you Dylan! I love reviewing but it does take a lot of time, especially since I am working on my own debut novel. I apologize for the infrequency of my posts because of this. Sometimes I do wonder if it is appreciated, because many times I never hear from the author. Thanks again! :)

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

Thank you

Writing book reviews is tough. It doesn’t matter whether it is a couple of lines and a rating, or a well thought out essay, it takes effort for a reviewer to translate all the emotions and experiences they’ve just felt and translate it into something concise, considered and heartfelt. Many authors complain about how difficult it is to write a plot synopsis or promotional blurb, but it can be just as difficult for reviewers to condense everything they’ve experienced, complete with explanation and reasoning, into a few paragraphs. And then there is the worry about the reaction. Every author understands the anxiety of letting their work go, wondering if people will love or hate what they’ve written, but it is exactly the same for a reviewer, especially if they didn’t enjoy the work they are reviewing.

Some, lucky few, get paid to review books, but most book reviewers do it for free. And this is important for authors to remember…

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Further Thoughts on One Star Reviews

Rebecca Vance:

This post is from another reviewer with excellent points on reviews. I hope you will read this and get a better understanding of what to expect. I agree with her wholeheartedly. :)

Originally posted on The Mad Reviewer:

After Saturday’s lively discussion some interesting points were brought up in the comment thread that I’d like to address while talking about some of the wider talking points surrounding one star reviews.  It’s in no particular order but I think it is important to address some of these today:

Author Bashing Most reviewers aren’t targeting you personally. There’s a difference between criticizing a product and criticizing the person behind the product, which I consider author-bashing.

1.  Giving a one star review does not mean you’re being rude or disrespecting the effort the author put into a book.

Unless you’re author-bashing I see no reason why a one star review can be considered rude as long as it’s your honest opinion and aren’t utterly reveling in taking down the book.  When I do a book review I generally try to follow a format where I point out what I liked/disliked and why (generally)…

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The First Review of 2015: Deadly Pleasures

Deadly Pleasures Cover

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow, can you believe it? It’s already 2015! The years keep flying past us. Those of you familiar with my blog, may have noticed that two pages have been deleted. The Publishers Directory and the Blog Exchange were deleted due to the death of the sponsor of both pages. Maurice was a wonderful guy and a great help to new and aspiring authors and he will be missed.

Ok, on to this new year. The first review is Mary Firmin’s debut novel, Deadly Pleasures. The author provided me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest, impartial review.

This is a very well done romantic mystery from the dark side. Megan Riley is a divorced woman coming to terms with some personal demons as she struggles with the poor economy and a real estate business. She and her three best friends, tired of their cheating husbands and boyfriends, decide to turn the tables. All members of the Bayside Yacht Club, they agree to hire a “boytoy” by the name of Michael Harrington. Little do they know, he is the prime suspect in the grisly bondage murders. She soon finds herself in the murder investigation and falling for the detective in charge, Matt Donovan. There are elements of bondage, torture and sadism and many suspects other than Michael. Some may be closer than she knows!

Ok, that is all I am going to say. I will not give away any spoilers!

In my opinion, Ms. Firmin handled this extremely well. The pacing was just right, slow enough to give you a chance to think but fast enough to keep your heart racing. The subject of bondage and sexual content was tastefully described and wouldn’t damage the sensibilities of my aunt Mabel. What I found very refreshing, was the lack of grammatical errors and typos. This is not inherent solely in debut authors, by the way. Many traditionally published established A-list authors have some that slip by the editors. I usually catch them because that is what I look for in my own writing. I detected none in this novel at all, so my highest high five to Mary for that! In summary, I would recommend Deadly Pleasures to all those mystery buffs out there who like a thrill ride that is a bit off the beaten path. If you like a surprise ending in the bargain, then you will be even more satisfied. I wonder if Mary could tell us if she is planning a series? I would definitely love to see more of Megan and Matt and see where their relationship goes! Check it out here: Thanks, Mary!

My smile rating is: :) :) :) :)

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Are You Killing Time —Or Is Time Killing You?

Calvin and Hobbes

We have all heard the expression, “killing time” or just to “kill time.” It’s been around for a long time. In fact, in 1841, the playwright, Dion Boucicault wrote: “Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.” Other writers have referred to it as well, among them: Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, George Bernard Shaw, and Octavio Paz.

Another expression popular with many people, writers and non-writers alike, is the complaint: There isn’t enough time in the day! Have you said this? I know I have, probably every single day that I am non-productive. The thing that we each have in common with all the writers above is that elusive concept of time. Look at all they accomplished! What about more contemporary authors, such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or J.K.Rowling? Is there a secret they all know that we aren’t privy to in conserving time? After all, there is and always has been, 24 hours in a day. So, it stands to reason that the hours in the day are not the problem, but how we use them.

Do you watch a lot of television? Do you read? Are you on the internet a lot? How about social media? Wow, Bingo! There is my entrapment. Is there anything out there that is a bigger time-suck than Facebook? I have been better about that, but I can spend hours reading blogs, and being in discussions online, sharing pictures of cute little kittens and puppies and cursing the government. There is not one of them that is helping me write my book. Granted, I do learn from the blogs and discussions, yet, they are taking Continue reading


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Give Thanks for Reading

Rebecca Vance:

Happy Thanksgiving! Will you be out shopping tomorrow for Black Friday? Don’t forget books for that reader on your list! Here’s a great article to say thank you and give you some great information. Have a wonderful day! :)

Originally posted on ReadTuesday:



Ever read a great book? Be thankful for the author who spent years writing it.

That book grabbed your interest and entertained you. It may have communicated valuable knowledge. The story may have drawn you in. You may have fallen in love with the characters. Perhaps you became part of another world. It could be a better world, or a highly exciting world. An escape from reality. The story may have moved you.

The author may have spent years writing the book. Doing research. Learning and developing the skills needed to craft the masterpiece. Spending months searching for agents or publishers, writing query letters, or taking a huge risk by self-publishing. Marketing avidly, struggling to build a following, all to help you discover that great book.

So much time and effort perfecting a few hundred pages. All for your benefit.

This Thanksgiving, thank an author.

There are many…

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Dun Writin’—Now Whut? A series by Susan Uttendorfsky – Owner of Adirondack Editing – (35 Removing Filter Words)

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:


Removing Filter Words

Filter words are placed between your character and the action. Generally, they are added to a sentence when trying to describe something that your character is experiencing or thinking. While, as usual, there’s a place for them in writing, you can tighten up your scenes immensely when they’re removed. It’s another tidbit for helping you show, rather than tell, as without the filter words, you’re forced to add more description to get what you mean across.

What are some filter words? Felt, realized, saw, wondered, seemed, decided, heard, knew, touched, watched, and can are some of the more common ones. You can search the Internet for other lists of filtering words. Cutting away your filtering words and forcing yourself to write without them results in more vivid scenes.

Here are some sentence examples of filter words:

  • She remembered him kissing her at their wedding.

  • She felt relieved…

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